Beauty Culture investigates our obsession with beauty and the influence of photographic representations on female body image. Film subjects hail from diverse points on the beauty landscape. Fashion photographers, child pageant stars, bodybuilders, teenagers, and intellectuals engage in a provocative dialogue that addresses the persistent ‘beauty contest’ of daily life.
"This was also an opportunity for me to [...] look at the role of photography and specifically beauty and fashion photography in shaping these images. In the film, I got to deconstruct that even further and look at the image makers: the make-up artists, the clothes, the models, the model agents [...] I also wanted to kind of break down the fourth wall and deconstruct those boundaries."
- Lauren Greenfield
In 1997, while on assignment for Time, Lauren began documenting the lives of patients at the Renfrew Center in Coconut Creek, Florida, a forty-bed residential facility for the treatment of women with eating disorders.
She subsequently returned to Renfrew to take more photographs, and was eventually given unprecedented access to film the daily lives of patients. The gripping film premiered a Sundance and was acquired by HBO.
"Makes its case by neither exploiting its subjects nor soft-pedaling their plight."
Kids + Money.
In the documentary short film Kids + Money, Lauren returns to her native Los Angeles to take the cultural temperature of a generation imprinted by commercial values. Born of the extremes of poverty and wealth that define the Los Angeles landscape, kids tell their stories in a series of cinematic portraits.
The portraits here are of the film's subjects, hailing from diverse Los Angeles communities. From rich to poor, Pacific Palisades to East L.A., kids address how they are shaped by a culture of consumerism.